Vichyssoise Soup

Vichyssoise Soup

This rich creamy soup is  attributed to French Chef Louis Diat. He recreated the soup in 1917, at the Ritz-Carltono Hotel in beautiful New York city where he worked as a chef.

Diat was born in Vichy, France, where hot potato and leek recipe was a traditional dish. At the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s rooftop garden, he served the soup of his childhood, only cold and with cream. He called it Crème Vichyssoise Glacée.

Pronounced:  Vish EES Wahz

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large Dutch cream potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 large leeks, thoroughly rinsed and sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chives to garnish
  • Crusty bread to serve

Method

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and the butter, over medium high heat.
  2. Sauté the onion until translucent (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add the leeks and sauté until soft (about 4-5 min).
  4. Add the potatoes and sauté with the onions and leeks for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  7. Using an immersion hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. Alternatively, you can work in batches using a regular blender.
  8. Add the heavy cream and turn the heat back up to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes so it thickens a little.
  9. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Remove from heat.
  10. Wait for the soup to cool down to room temperature and chill for at least one hour before serving (overnight the soup gets better).
  11. Bring soup back from chill, don’t serve it too cold.
  12. Garnish with two chives across bowl and serve.

Wine: dry sherry is always a good pairing with soups. With creamy soups a crisp Chablis, unoaked Chardonnays or a good Pinot Greigio.

Served hot or cold. Looks impressive in shot glasses for tapas.